Praise be to Allaah.
If a person has wealth that is surplus to his needs and those
of his dependents and is sufficient for him to do Hajj, then he must do Hajj
for himself. If he is unable to do so because of sickness or old age, then
he must delegate someone to do Hajj on his behalf with his money. If he dies
without having done Hajj, then money must be taken out of his estate for
Hajj to be done on his behalf, because Hajj is a debt that he owes, and a
debt owed to Allaah is more deserving of being paid off, as al-Nasaa’i
(2639) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A
man said: O Messenger of Allaah, my father died and did not do Hajj; should
I do Hajj on his behalf? He said: “Do you think that if your father owed a
debt, wouldn't you pay it off?” He said: Yes. He said: “The debt of Allaah
is more deserving (of being paid off).” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If a person
for whom Hajj was obligatory dies and did not do Hajj, then money must be
taken out from his entire wealth for Hajj and ‘Umrah to be done on his
behalf, whether he failed to do it because of negligence or otherwise. This
is the view of al-Hasan, Tawoos and al-Shaafa’i.
And because Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that a woman asked the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) about her father, who
had died and did not do Hajj. He said: “Do Hajj on behalf of your father.”
And it was narrated from him that a woman vowed to do Hajj then she died.
Her brother came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him)
and asked him about that. He said: “Don’t you think that if your sister owed
a debt, you would pay it off?” He said: Yes. He said: “So pay the debt owed
to Allaah, for it is more deserving of being paid off.” Narrated by
al-Nasaa’i. And because it is a duty that may be done by proxy, so it is not
waived if a person dies, as is also the case with debt. End quote from
But if when he was alive he did not possess funds for Hajj
that were surplus to his needs and the needs of his dependents, then Hajj
was not obligatory in his case and it is not obligatory to do Hajj on his
behalf, unless someone does that voluntarily.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah be pleased with him) was
asked: I have a nephew who got cancer -- I seek refuge for you and all the
Muslims from that -- and he died this year at the age of 19, without having
done the obligatory Hajj. Please note that he got this disease five years
ago. Should we do Hajj on his behalf? Is there any expiation?
It is essential to ask: did this young man have wealth with
which he could have done Hajj? If that is the case, then Hajj must be done
on his behalf. But if he did not have any wealth, then Hajj was not
obligatory for him and he has died free of any obligation. But if they want
to do Hajj voluntarily on his behalf, there is nothing wrong with that. End
quote from al-Liqa’ al-Shahri, 62/5.
Based on that, if the man who died had enough money to do
Hajj, then Hajj was obligatory for him, and what the questioner has done of
performing Hajj on his behalf was a correct action which takes precedence
over the rights of the heir to the estate. But he should inform the heir of
that, so that he will not do Hajj for him a second time, thinking that this
is obligatory for him.
And Allaah knows best.